Courting the Ladies

Readers of this blog will have picked out the various, highly-successful courting tips that we have dropped across various posts.  If you are a new reader, or someone of poor memory you can read about meatballs, multi-colored sneakers, and the $300 wardrobe.  Aside from those colossally effective tips I have some more for those still on the auction block.

Often you can learn even more from failure than success.  By now we should have volumes of useful knowledge.  Unfortunately we are left a pile of failures, but we like to think of some of these as sort of successful.

The first of these tips is more for camp counselors.  I was at a week long camp in the Catskill Mountains.  This was a co-ed camp for budding young adults between the ages of 13-15. They could have called it “Caligula Camp” given barely supervised new teens about to burst with seminal fluids. The best example is a game I call “Blind Grope”.

They took us all into a large, flat, open grass field. The camp counsellors stood at the borders to keep us corralled in the field. They blindfolded all of us and set us out. The object was to find the murderer before everyone was dead. A few people were murderers and a few more police, and the rest where bystanders. When you touched a person you both paused a moment. Bystanders say nothing. If someone whispers “murder” then you scream “MURDER” (causing the other bind players fleeing the area – only walking, no running). The police whispered police and if you were a murderer you where then caught.

The real “objective” was simple. Grab some boob. As you would expect, and as I confirmed when I was finally “murdered”, hence leaving the field of play and removing my blindfold with the other victims, was the boys expended one are out to encounter boobage, and the other arm jealously guarded the package. The boys moved about quickly to cover as much area as possible, obviously spending more time if they ran into a girl. The girls were well informed to take small, quiet steps and used both arms to fully protect their upper assets.

When you were “out” and got to watch the field of play it was very entertaining. The climax of the game was one girl who took the offensive. She had either played this game before, or was well aware of the perverted minds of young boys. Instead of guarding herself, she moved with brisk steps of force with her arms pistoning forward in a downward angle. This action felled more than a few boys. She seems to have a sense for boys approaching as she never caused damage to another female. I expect she is a CEO somewhere today.

The next tale of courtship also took place in a camping situation. This time there where only a few of us, and we took a canoeing trip for a week in Canada. We spent most of the week on a peninsula on one side of a lake. The lake was bordered by mostly permanent residents, but a few homes rented out for the summer. The one directly across form out camp site was rented to two older women who we watched for two days as they utterly failed to use a canoe. They were drunk every time we saw them. While some people drunk dial and others wander the Tops isle, still other try to get into a canoe. They continuously fell into the water and screamed at each other.

After two days they managed to get into the canoe, but also padding in the same direction, thus managing to propel themselves across the lake and towards us. As they approached all staring in order to get a closer view at what a train-wreck looks like close up. Suddenly they came into focus. Our eyes were torn asunder by the vision of two nasty old drunks that were topless this entire time. As we averted out eyes to avoid permanent blindness, we heard the cry of the Northern Light Hag, “Get a good look perverts!”

I cannot leave this particular story with such a crime against nature. During the canoeing to the peninsula we portaged (that means carry your fucking canoe over land) across an all girls camp. Enjoying the brief time, but soon forgetting about it we were surprised a few days later, to see some of the females from this camp canoeing towards us. They setup camp no more than 20 yards away. Their 19-ish women counselor was as lacks as our 19-ish male counsellor.

I should mention that there is normally a qualified staff member with these canoeing expeditions, but they ran out of staff and since our guide lived in the area, was 19, and had been on the trip a few times they deputized him. He lead us away from the normal paths, and into a den of disgust (the old women above) and love (see below).

The female campers were no match for the combination of Canadian wildlife, a sparking lake, and dirty boys catching frogs. Through some Druidic magic the even closed as were paired up around a roaring fire. Each couple encased in their own blanket. Being a gentleman I shant disclose what may or may not have occurred that night under the stars.

Now we will leave the romantic camping settings and escape to a simple phrase handed down from a guru of lotharioism. The proper procedure, according to this casanova is to whisper gently into a woman’s ear, “I want to eat you into utter submission.” Like an angry Republican from Texas the shock and awe of this statement will roll over her with such speed as to leave her defenses shattered. I cannot give any further details, but I will back up the perhaps surprising performance of this quip with a statistic. Two out of three times this has been employed it has bet with success.

The occasionally mentioned, but universally loved Rob gives us our next parable of love. Rob had been in a prolonged dry spell when New Year’s Eve rolled around. Many of the usual crew were gathered at our beloved Anacone’s. After the compulsory toast at the stroke of midnight we actually engaged in a round of declaring resolutions. When it came upon Rob to make his decree he raise his glass and gleefully yelled out, “I declare this The Year of Rob!” He consummated the proclamation by grabbing the mammary gland of the woman next to him. Again we witnessed shock and awe. It was a good thing the woman was a friend of ours. As this was out of character, and he had imbibed several quotas of intoxicants there was no rebut. Over the next year Rob made good. He found a new girlfriend that lasted several years.

The New Year’s following the successful year of Rob leads us into our final tale of seduction. I made a similar decree as to being “The Year of Aaron.” holding more of a strict character than Rob I set forth a rule. “I will ask out at least one new woman a month.” In January I asked out Chris’s sister, but given he pervious exposure to my juvenile antics there was not surprise on either part to the answer. February I asked out some woman I can’t recall other than this we of a slightly more serious attempt that the paper-attempt of January. No dice. With March approaching I had used my two options for asking out a woman without any fear. Now I knew I had to actually encounter a real life situation.

In preparation I read “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” This seemed to be a useful skill to acquire, no matter what kind of “conquest” you were out for. The point from this well-known tome that stuck with me is the tactic of asking a person two questions they cannot say no to before getting to the real question on the third try. The idea is that they are in the habit of saying yes with the first two questions, so that when you get to the third they will reactively say yes.

I set my sights on a buxom woman who was playing volleyball in Delaware Park. This is when Chris and I had been playing weekly volleyball with the alternatives. I later learned they did not like this woman. During the game I managed to flirt successfully with her. Before I knew it the game was over and people began to leave. She was only an occasional player so I knew I had to make my move. I volunteered to stay and help take down the equipment. Chris and JP where present and both knew what I was up to. They left, hiding out in the nearby parking lot so as to be the first to find out what happened. I continued the flirting, ask me not what I did exactly as I was in a haze. As I walked with her to her car I entered stage one. Damn! I was still surrounded by a cloudy haze. I had asked question one, but I did not know what I said! I have blown it already!

I saw her mouth move, and hear a “Yes.” Somehow I had not shot my self in the foot. I had to expunge this cloud out of my hear and think clearly. Before I could clear my head entirely I found I was already half way through my second question! What the hell was I gonna do now? I had no choice but to complete my question. Now I was done for sure. I managed to clear my head, now awaiting a sure-fired denial to an unknown question.

Somehow my luck held as I was gifted with a miraculous second affirmative. Now I was where I wanted to be. I finally had a clear mind. I had put in the pre-work, and all I had to close the deal with deliver my closer. I took a breath and confidently fired my final salvo. “Do you eat?” Her response was a collage of confusion and smirk. “What?” was her reply. I then asked he out, to which she told me she was engaged. I was still elated as I had executed my plan and it did not end in catastrophe. We parted and i started the trek towards the parking lot to make my after action report. As I strutted away, proud in my own accomplishment, I heard her yell. “Hey!” I looked back, her voluminous upper half protruding from her car door. “Nice line.”

And with an Aesoply ending I leave you with this. Into every life a little love must stumble, even if by remarkable luck, but place your bet upon a tactic of shock and awe.


What I Learned as a Postman

So this blog does not totally morph into Mike’ Air Force Reunion Tour I will break up the military tomfoolery with a civilian post. This post will walk down the path of my curriculum vital. While most of my employments led to interesting stories of some sort, however I have either forgotten some or for one reason of legality will leave absent a few.

What better place to start than at the beginning. My first paying job, aside from trivial chores around the house which I spend more time avoiding than it took to actually complete, was as a paperboy. While the classic arcade game of the same name would lead you to believe the job is a high-paying, fast-paced adventure. Mine, at least, was nothing of the sort. Being a normal teenager in wanting to collect money for my schemes with as little effort and time spent as possible I shunned the high profile Buffalo News for the far-from-prestigious Penny Saver. The Penny Saver was delivered but once per week. I had a scant 500 papers to deliver on Saturday. The Penny Saver was as frugal as it’s name implied. I earned a meager $20/week for what was 3 hours of shoddy work. There was no pride. Being a youth I felt my time was better spent in pointless goofing off, and as such I sought to reduce my work time as much as possible. Towards this end I employed Louis to aid, after all he was around most of the time anyway. Given his meager physique I still was burdened with almost 400 papers still, but it was less than 500. I was magnanimous in my tossing of as few dollars Louis’s way for his effort – usually taking the form of some Mountain Dew of Ho-Ho’s on the way back. Given the cost of these items I was being screwed. My life as a hard-working paperboy only lasted a few months before they, with great regret, let me go and moved on to a wide-eyed go-getter who had no appreciation for doing nothing.

My next dive into the pool of the employed was a local pizza joint. This served me well, as I was later able to work the hardships of food service into conversation. I experienced the perpetual smell a deep-frier leaves upon your clothes. I lived the joy of making a pizza for my own family, bringing home the dough. My obtained skill of flipping the dough is put into occasional practice today. I spent my break pumping quarters into the lonely Shinobi pizzeria arcade game. I will forever remember this job because I was working the day Jim Kelly dove into the end zone to beat the Dolphins, thus beginning the greatest era of the Buffalo Bills. But mostly I spent my time chopping up lettuce. My time fetching things from the freezer ended after 4 months.

As I compose this post I have remembered a 1.5 day job I will place here rather than re-write my already written prose. During a period where I spent a lot of time at Showbiz Pizza Place (the anti-Chuck-E-Cheese) I was “employed” to work in their haunted house. Within a gang of a few friends we adorned costumes of Dracula, Wolfman, and Mummy classics while jumping out of closed coffins, running down a strobe light hall, and screaming. honestly the idea of being haunted house “staff” and scaring people was most of the benefit. Our real “pay” was all the crappy (as I later learned in life, not all pizza is good pizza) pizza and $20 worth of tokens. As the pizza was at a quality just above soiled, wet cardboard, and we where pumping the token back into their own games the only value we received was life experience, and that was not usable until years later.

It was not until into college that I attempted real work again. I was hired by Parkside Candies on Main Street. This was the same location that was used in the movie “The Natural”. People often came in to ask what booth Robert Redford sat at during the scene. We told them the nice booth in the corner, but the truth was that the movie filmed outside the store, but they never used anything they filmed indoors.

I worked as a waiter/cook (few knew we sold homemade soup and sandwiches). Most people came in to eat from the ice cream bar or purchase candies for which Parkside was known – especially their sponge candy around Easter. The family that ran joint where cheap to monumental levels. They would pay you to the exact minute of the time card, so if you where clocked in from 2pm – 6:58pm you got paid for 4 hours and 58 minutes. As an employee you received a 10% discount, but only while working only, no discount if you came in off duty. Customers often came in with coupons for a far larger discount. As such we took free food on duty, and my friends come in to eat dinner on sundays (the shift I always worked) where I slipped them my employee discount and gave them free candy.

My manager kept us insulated from the owners. He liked working with me because I worked fast, so we could close at 10pm and be done and gone by 10:20, instead of anyone else who would keep him there until 11pm. I was eager to be promoted to shift supervisor for the extra pay, so I volunteered to work a day in the factory when they where short. It was like walking back in time. Parkside crafted and sold lollipops all over the world, so I saw giant metal vats, like you see pouring molten iron. These where heated to red hotness and poured into a conveyor of molds. This conveyor worked it’s way into another room where it was fed through a crazy Rube Goldberg machine that wrapped the lollipops. Three people manned this device to feed wrapping material into it. As the lollipops came to the end they fell onto he ground, into a box. I sat at the end to swap out the full box for an empty one, and then took out any broken lollipops. One other figure occupied the room, I think he was chained there. This was the old, Russian. He spoke a few words of English, pointed and grunted a lot when communicating, but mostly sat silence. He was the maintenance man whom we occasionally saw in the restaurant to fix a dish washer or some such. His de-facto job was to sit and wait for the Rube Goldberg machine to break, at which time he would fix it. I worked in the factory one single day, and the machine broke no less than four times! Most of the time the crafty Russian had it up and running in 5-10 minutes, but once it was down for 40 minutes. Judging form the reaction of everyone else, this was status quo. The 5-10 minute breakages where fine, but when it was down for longer than that, the molten vats had to be stopped. This caused a lot of extra work when they then may have to be heated up again if the lien was stopped long enough. The week after I worked the factory I was promoted to shift supervisor.

One benefit, aside from the free food, candy, and ice cream was changing the window display. Be it a far cry from a Macy’s window, it was still a taste of something few in this world ever experience. I was also able to rummage through the lost and found. The only item I took was a purple cumberbun which I later used in a Halloween costume.

The owner had a son that was a traveling salesman for their candy. He was the worst of the lot as you never knew when he would show up and he would criticize everything you had done, then leave. As such, we learned to ignore him. I theorize he was such a dick because his cheap, cold-hearted family gave him no love as a child. Also leading to his life as a traveling salesman, in order to play out his childhood fantasy to run away from home. Once he entered while I was slicing meat in preparation for the day’s sandwiches. He immediately walked over and inspected my sliced ham with an angry eye.

Brandishing a piece in my face he said,
“Look at this! Would you eat this?”
“Right! And why not? It is took thick!”
“No. I don’t like ham.”

That turned out to be my last shift.

Thanks to my connections, in part from Mike, I was next able to gain immediate employment at the UB Norton Cafeteria. I won’t go into this as several of the stories to come out of this place have already been told: FSA Follies, Big J.T., etc.

I eventually transitioned into my first field-related job, as a computer lab consultant in the UB public labs. This was before the time when the combined the consultant and the printer operator into one job. This was a good job. I helped people learn how to check their email, and on one occasion I got to deny help to a student because I felt he was asking me to do his homework for him. This job has many benefits. One, I did not smell like food after a shift and two, I was able to do my own work for part of the time. You got the occasional freak, like the guy who walked into the lab and just repeated “games”. I eventually headed out to see his terminal and he had repeatedly types “g-a-m-e-s” at the prompt. The worst place to work was the Baldy hall, because they had a Windows lab, and this is where the non-computer literate came to check their email. All these arrogant liberal arts folk who thought they where better than everyone else, but needed help to check their email. The best public lab to work at was Bell. This was the largest, but had only terminals, and was in the Computer Science building, so most where capable themselves. This was a good place to work in the summer as it was one of the few labs open during the summer, and I was one of the few consultants around, so I got all the shifts I wanted. I came in, cleaned up the pizza boxes and cigarettes that where clearly posted as prohibited, then sat in the office and did whatever I wanted until 5pm. Another benefit to working over the summer was you could get paid up to 40 hours/week. During classes you had to bank hours over 20 that you worked to be paid when breaks/summer arrived. I quickly worked up a large bank so my hourly pay became a predictable pay check. I often skipped classes to pick up shifts.

As I live off campus, near Main Street, I was the only consultant that wanted the 5pm – 11pm shift in Crosby. This worked out well, because I got this shift almost every day, and nor a lot of people knew where this lab was, or that it existed. Another good thing about this lab was the consultants office was in the middle of the Mac lab, and as Mac users know what they are doing and the terminal users could not find me, I was left alone. This is where I met Chet. He was a regular, there until 11 each night. Eventually we became friends, and after I closed the lab we would go to Subway and talk for a few hours. Once he even brought the Blood Bowl board game into the consultant’s office during a shift to show me how to play. Another benefit to this job was I had keys, and could open the lab at any time. I often went to the lab to work on a project, or just to play some games with Louis, Chet, and Matt. If Public Safety came in I just showed them my badge and they left. This was one of the best overall jobs I had.

My next job was due to Rob. He is the convenient store king, always quickly attaining the position of assistant manager, but never manager. This way he avoids the responsibility, but gets most of the benefits. He was able to get me a job at the Noco on the corner of Maple and Sweet Home. I suffered through the tedium of the 4 hours Noco training at their HQ on Sheridan, near Putt-Putt. I had the night shift, from 11pm until 6am. Since not many customers visited the store during these hours I was to spend my time cleaning and re-stocking. Given my faster than normal speed at work I was able to get this done in the first 2 hours. Leaving me 5 hours of boredom to stave off (5am is when customers started showing up again). I quickly learned where the security cameras where, so I could avoid them. I had not laptop or iPhone or anything else. I should have gotten a book to read, but I preferred to spend the time trying to get into mischief. The occasional customer came in, which provided humor because they where always in some state of stupidity. This is where I had my first Slim Jim. I was bored one night, and after staring at the Slim jim display for 15 minutes I ate one. This led to eating pretzel sticks frequently. I only stayed at Noco for two months. During that time my manager did grow to trust me long enough to divulge the affair he was having with his bosses wife. He showed up in a state of stupidity with her one late night. I never worked there long enough to make use of the information.

I left non-technical jobs for the last time, or so I thought (more on this later). My next job lasted only 1 month. It was in East Aurora. I have never before or since been to East Aurora. It was 1 hour commute each direction. I sat in a room by myself and did boring shit. I was paid hourly. It was bad.

Now we jump to my first real-world field-related job. I met Chris here. We sat in a room and made “magic”, or so everyone else in the company thought. We sat around playing games a lot. On my first day of work I learned a valuable lesson about corporate America. A senior engineer, Jack, came over to show me how to fix the server when it broke. He turned the literal big, red switch off… waited 30 seconds, then flipped the switch back on. His final step… “Pray”. We prayed because the version of the server OS was so old that as it started up you would see many, many error messages flow by. The server had long ago given up giving useful error messages, and now they simply said “I AM WOEFULLY OUT OF DATE! PLEASE UPGRADE ME!” The boss was cheap.

The boss was so cheap he would not even pay for dial-up. Instead he had me setup dial-up service for the company using my own UB account, which remained active for years after I left UB. I only did this so I could use the Internet. The boss wanted us to only connect to push out emails at the top of the hour 9-5. Also, when an “authorized” individual request, such as the senior engineers needed it. They would enter our office and ask for the connection to be turned on. We would tell them give us a few minutes, and then go back to using the Internet because I kept it up all the time I was there. As a result of setting up the dial-up I had a tool to monitor the email. This tool told me who was sending/receiving email, and how long the transmission took. Chris and I could read everyone’s email if we wanted, but never did, except once (later). The secretaries did ask us if we read their email, and even though we did not, and told them such, they convinced themselves we did. What they mush have sent I wish I knew for they seemed very nervous.

Since this was my first 9-5 job I had to build up the stamina to stay awake. For the first few weeks I would fall asleep around 3ish. For the first 6 months my department consisted of 3 people. My initial boss would often announce to the rest of us “They do not pay us enough to work 40 hours per week. Do whatever you like.” Not that we had enough to do for the whole week. On this job I also learned to assemble computer hardware. I learned I was not interested in assembling computer hardware, and as such I was not very good at it. I did manage to order a new computer for Louis with our company discount and assemble it so poorly that when it arrived the motherboard was scrapped to hell – causing a permanent flaw.

The boss was one of those guys that reads an article and then wants to immediately implement this. Luckily he was out of the office on sales calls 3 out of 4 weeks every month. The productivity of the entire company dropped tremendously when he was in the office. One of these innovations was the “paperless office”, which is not a reality now, let alone over ten years ago. Another idea was that the boss demanded everyone’s email username be their first name + last initial. This was completely backwards to us so we also setup alias for the normal last name email username. His reasoning was to make the office more personable; I sent email to good, old Joe@ instead of faceless Schmoe@. If it was more personable I would walk over and talk to good, old Joe’s face. This did give us some humor. For instance, there was a Mike with a last initial of R, hence Miker – he was more Mike than the other Mike’s.

This is the place that help the infamous Factory School, of which has already been detailed in another post.

The office manager ran the place when the boss was out of the office. He slept a lot. He was the cousin of the boss, my first exposure to nepotism as several employees where related to the boss. The secretaries could see into his office and would ring him to wake him up. Another character was the phone support guy who was like scatter-brained Dilbert, and had papers all around his desk in a 6 foot circle. He would rest his coffee cup on his bulbous belly as he stood and spoke at you. He was always the guy who sent out massive files over dial-up, sometimes taking over an hour to send.

One year into my employ the boss completed construction into our own building. This also meant more purchases, like a new server. The old server had a 1G HDD, which was the literal size of a concrete brick. I thought it was cool, an HDD so old, and I took a picture of it with my camera as it sat on the spare desk in my office for months. The company’s tattle-tale saw me do this and told the manager, who confiscated my camera – paid to develop the film, and then returned the developed pictures. It was a disposable camera with only a few pictures so I did not care, it was just so ridiculous; what was I gonna get with a picture of HDD? I had it in my office for months, and could have done anything with it! But so ended my stint as a corporate spy 🙂 After I had left the company Chris took the HDD and gave it to me 🙂

When I finally decided to leave the company I told the office manager. As soon as I got back to my desk Chris said,

“Hey, looks like Paul (office manager) just sent my email to the boss. You gonna read it?”
“No, I shouldn’t do that.”

A minute later I received and email from Chris. It contained Paul’s email. He told the boss I was leaving, and a year form now I would be sorry I left. I was not.

I next worked at a place that published phone books, but had an actual web based workflow system. This was a 3 shift/24 hours a day (except weekends), large company. I was one of the support people for all the workers who created the phone book ads, and constructed the phone books. This had a lot of people my age, and there where more women than men, so I got a few dates out of the whole thing. It was a good job, as my boss learned my and the other support guy knew what we were doing, so he left us alone. I was one of the few people who did not get the job because I knew or was related to someone there. The upper management was nepotism galore. One Xmas the older ladies that worked the second shift gave out chocolates to everyone. At the time I did not eat chocolate, to I left it on my desk, in a metal tin. When all other’s chocolate was long gone mine was still there. The women of the office soon learned I had chocolate free for the taking. I observed this, and began replenishing the chocolate to keep them drawn into the woman trap as it were. I had many welcome interruptions during the day, especially 1 week a month when they descended in droves 🙂 There are good stories form this place that I’ll expand upon in another post.

My next job I only mention because I was here during the .com bust, and lost my job, along with several others. I have already told the hot tub story from this employment era. But due to my lay-off I was unemployed for 8 months, and while unemployment was getting closer to running out (even with the 9-11 extension we all automatically got), I needed something.

I applied to be a “casual carrier” for the post office. I took the job as much for curiosity as for boredom. The first week was training where we watched videos (like the “Winter Walking” safety video: use the handrail, etc.), heard lectures, had a tour of the main Buffalo post office near the train station (in typical Buffalo fashion, if the main office had been built 1 year later it would be by the airport – where most of the mail goes now anyway), and practiced sorting mail. At the beginning of the week there where 20 in the class, and by Friday there where 7. The best question asked was,

“What if I have to deliver in a bad neighborhood?”
“Even drug dealers need their mail. We have never had an incident with a mailman being attacked.”

During training they tell you to cut across lawns (this saves a LOT of time), unless the owner specifically asks you to. I had one guy on my route who did this. His lawn was bright green, and immaculate.

Another safety tip from training is to push, not pull. Especially when you have completed your morning sort, and go to pick up your cart of packages.

We where all sent to work at post offices relatively close to us. Most of us where assigned to the Amherst post office on Maple. Within a few weeks only I remained.

The first few days I was assigned to work with a real mailman. As soon as we left the post office on delivery he said,

“The first rule is to always ring the bell. Most packages you delivery you can just leave, but always ring the bell. You never know what you will see.”

He was right. It is amazing the state a person will answer the door in. I delivery many times to a work-from-home man who answered the door in a towel every day. I saw a few women half dressed. I saw strange freaks and creepy freaks. It was a wild ride. I was never asked for my post office ID. A side corollary of this is that if you bring their mail, people have instant and amazing trust in you. They let me in their house immediately because they wanted me to bring the mail in the front door and leave it on the coffee table, even if they where not there.

Sorting mail sucks, especially when you are a casual carrier, hence you are thrown around to fill in for whoever is out. you never get used to the route, which slows down the sorting and the delivery time. I was lucky in that one postal worker was injured around the time I started, so they kept giving me his route. I was able to master it, cutting my morning sort time almost in half after a week, and cutting my delivery time down so I could sleep in the mail truck for the last hour, before driving back to punch out. We had until dark to finish delivery, but could not punch out earlier than 4pm. I only failed to complete my route once, and that was when there was a shit-ton of show, and the route was the farthest form the station but still in our area of coverage, and the houses where far apart. Our start time depended upon how much mail we had coming in, but was usually 5:30-6:30; finding out the specific time at the end of the previous day. Also, as regular postal workers have Sundays off, and a rotating 2nd day off each week, us casual carriers had only Sunday off. Even the one holiday I worked the casual carriers where called in to sort for half the day. Needless to say when Saturday work was over I was too exhausted to do anything. The geeks still came over Saturday night, but I barely participated – falling asleep while 5 geeks yelled. The oversized items are the worst to sort, therefore all mailmen hated the old format of the Oprah magazine, which was non-standard size.

One of the benefits was being able to drive a real mail truck around. These things where built to last 25 years back in the mod 70’s. They take quite a beating, al the start and stopping when you have curb-side deliveries. Postmen love curbside mailboxes, or collection boxes with the mailboxes for many apartments/offices in one place. The curb-side mailbox or collection box is how all modern complexes are built. It save a lot of time. Sometimes I was sent out to delivery mail that was not delivered the day before. This would be a portion of a route. They would pay me extra for using my own car and I would fill my back seat with mail and shuffle off.

Delivering in the rain blows. In short order you end up with letter fragments soaked onto your clothes. Mail slots suck! All mailmen hate them, especially in winter. They are hard to find, they are often placed in strange spots, sometimes vertical, sometimes horizontal. In the winter, they tear up your fingers. If you have a mail slot your mailman hates you. There was a house that never shoveled their walk. I nearly killed myself every day, even armed with my “Winter Walking” safety video knowledge. To exasperate the situation this “person” (they do not really quality) had a mail slit literally 3 inches off the ground, so I had to bend over to use it. This house also had a dog that liked to chew the mail up as soon as it fell threw the slot. As a result of the “person” making it dangerous and as big a pain in the ass to deliver their mail I took great pride in slowly feeding each piece of their mail through the slow slowly, so the dog had ample time to destroy every piece entirely.

Speaking of dogs, do they really attack postmen? Not really. I ran into very few dogs, and they quickly get to know you. A large portion of training is devoted to dealing with dogs. You are instructed to use your mail bag as a shield, and each bag is equipped with dog spray. This will irritate the dog;s eyes for 10 minutes, and leave a temporary orange color of the sprayed fur. I never had to use it. They do tell you that if you are approaching a house with a dog that the owner does not have on a leash/control off you never trust the owner when they tell you “Oh, he is OK. You can come here.” I was looking forward to denying someone mail for this, but never happened.

I had two bad experiences with dogs. One the dog charged out at me, as I was walking on the sidewalk, but the dog stopped because they had an invisible fence. The owner yelled to give me their mail as I walked away, but their did not approach me to hep out. That was the only time I exercised my right, as instructed in the videos: I wrote “DOG” on their mail and took it back to the office with me. If this continues to happen, and they person calls to complain, they are told to keep their dog under control. They where angry I did not deliver their mail that day.

My other dog story is that time I mentioned previously, when I delivering to the farthest route. I pulled the mail truck up the curb, and once the engine was off two giant dogs ran at the mail truck. I sat inside and at my lunch while they where round up by the owners. I was not even delivering to their house.

You really learn the value of layers when you deliver mail in the winter. I 5 top layers and 3 bottom layers. Sounds like a lot, but when you are outside for several hours at a time it make a massive difference. Your outermost layer is soaked with snow/rain, and the innermost layer is soaked with sweat.

You learn a lot more than you would think about people by their mail. Who is divorce, who likes adult content magazines, who collects social security checks, etc.

A few times I delivered to my old bosses house, the one who was super cheap and labelled me a corporate spy (see above). I was shocked at how mundane his house was, given how much money he had.

Everyone thinks mailmen get paid real well, but I can tell you that their pay rate is not that impressive, but they have excellent benefits, such as basically 100% coverage of health insurance on just about anything. As for my compensation, after all that work and long hours I only made $10 more a week than I would have collected on unemployment, but at least I could have continued indefinitely. Every 6 months causal carriers shifted from delivery to unloading trucks all day. I never got to experience that. My casual carrier status would have also gotten me pushed up the list to take the civil service test; while the list to hire is quite long, a lot of postmen across the country, where due to retire in the next few years.

One final items I learned about was that you could actually mail a letter with nothing more than the zip code (+4) on the letter. I also learned of some of the strange things people mail. An experienced postman told me of someone who shipped their entire back porch, literally brick by brick. This guy delivered a single brick (with an index card tapped to it with the address) every day for months. The strangest I delivered my saw was a 2×4.

Long ago my wife got tired of my mailman stories. Good thing for her I only worked as a postman for 1.5 months or else I’d have plenty more stories. She also quickly grew tired of me pointing out places I had delivered mail to, like a stretch of Transit Road.

I have had some more jobs since, but I will go into that at a later date.

Progressing through my employment history invariably makes me think of the various stages of my life, and the differences between set stages. This caused me to reflect upon what is lost in adulthood. Thrills are different. The best thing as an adult is having your own washer/dryer – no more laundromat. Remember when you where a kid, and your parents tell you they will order pizza Friday, and today is only Wednesday. The pizza was the highlight of your life. You would wake up Thursday hoping it was Friday. It was like *mas. Now, I can get pizza anytime I want. The thrill is gone. Remember when you would sleep on the couch? Not anymore, unless it is a mid-day nap. Enjoy your life in whatever stage you are in now, for it will change before you know it. Take that Aesop.

The Night of Revelations

Like the yet to be written, but often mentioned creamer story, this story requires some tact to recant. The opposite of which is what our crew is known for. Before now this story has been largely secret to anyone outside the participants. In small part, I feel I am revealing the secrets of the Freemasons.

It was a Friday night, in the post-Princeton era. I was attending a Sabres game with a friend. I had been informed hours before the game that Dan was hosting a Trivial Pursuit drinking event. I informed Dan I would stop by after the hockey game, after all, the game would be over by 9:30, placing my arrival at Dan’s place no later than 10. Surely, the event would still be in full swing by then, right? Aside from my late arrival, the other attendees were to be Dan, Mike, Chris, and another Aaron. I expected all of them to be there well before me.

After the hockey game I headed back to my car, and noticed several voicemail messages left by Dan and Mike. Both had called me individually pleading for my hurried arrival as it turned out no one but the two of them had shown. Having already played a few games of Trivial Pursuit, the social glue of beer was not enough to entertain the two of them. Neither Chris nor the other Aaron had shown up. i had gone to the game with a friend who had driven in from out of town. He had left his car at my place, so I had to take him back to my apartment to retrieve his car before I could head over to Dan’s place. While en route home I received calls from Chris and the other Aaron, both of which were only now heading over to Dan’s place. Chris knew the way, but wanted to make sure I was on the way so he was not left to suspiciously peer in the windows of Dan’s abode. The other Aaron had never been to Dan’s place, and giving directions while driving was a failure, so I told him to meet me at my place. I was still near downtown,and lived on Sheridan at the time, so the other Aaron should have been at my place well before me. A block from my apartment I passed the other Aaron driving in the opposite direction. As I arrived home expecting the other Aaron to arrive any minute. After my friend used the restroom, and said good-bye, still no other Aaron. I decided he must have had an epiphany of direction sense and made a bee-line to Dan’s house. As I am turning off the last major street en route to Dan’s place I again spy the other Aaron driving past me. This time he sees me for sure. I am able to call him, “Turn down the street you just passed!”

I arrived at Dan’s place, just and Chris and the other Aaron both also pulled up. It was closer to 11pm now, and when we entered Dan’s place he told us no one else showed except Mike, who left an hour ago. Just as a depression of a lost Friday night set in Dan revived the night with the most improbable statement ever, “Let’s go have a beer at McGee’s. I’m buying.” Shit, if Dan is offering to buy you better take that opportunity!

Excited as we were at the forthcoming Dan-purchased beer, we still expected some cheap ass brew, or a single glass for us all to share. Dan once more blew us away by purchasing a pitcher of Kilian’s Red. McGee’s was never my favorite place; it is small (not as small as Anacone’s) and very loud (most often due to some band). Thee was no band playing so the four of us found a nice table at the far end, near where the band plays. Our spirits bolstered to high levels by Dan we all were eager to enjoy ourselves. The usual conversation started. Eventually the topic turned to the “standard” positions to “attack” a woman. The other Aaron maintained there is was one more that the rest of us could come up with. He smiled and said no as we guessed what his extra assault angle was. Eventually he told us, and an argument ensued because the rest of us held the contention that his extra attack was just a combination of two of the other three attacks. Eventually this topic led to talk of The Plaque.

For those who do not know “The Plaque” is a concept created by our group years ago. To get your name on The Plaque you had to have launched an offensive (some pun intended) on a woman involving a specific maneuver. At the time the only names on the mythical Plaque (we certainly could never create a tangible Plaque for it would incriminate those inscribed) were Larry and Dan. Both had been proud members for many years.

Back to Darcy McGee’s. So the other Aaron’s “extra attacks” discussion has reveled he is now on the Plaque. There is 20 seconds of dead silence, and Chris breaks out that he is a member also. This is followed by the obvious questions and cheer from the table. Another 60 seconds of dead silent before I break down, “Alright! I’m on the Plaque also!” The obvious question again and more cheer. It is now pointed out that in the span of a few minutes the inscribed on the Plaque has skyrocketed from an elite two, to five! The event was sworn to secrecy (oops) and was hwence forth referred to as “The Night of Revelations.” After this night “The Plaque” was never really mentioned again, as the elusive award had lost it’s luster, somehow now appearing dirty.

Wolf and I

Now that we have 100 stories out there, our readers will have a pretty good picture of the setting of Comstock. It is time we delve a little deeper into one of the key relationships around Comstock, not to mention I am saddened that my name has not been more prominent in the recent posts.

As is obvious by the title, this post centers around the evolving relation between Wolf and myself, one of the lynch pins of the whole Comstock experience. I am going to take you through the story of our relation (God! Have I said “relationship” enough already! As Mooney would say, “We are not Gay!” :)) from start to finish.

The first time I met Wolf was when I visited St. Joe’s to join Louis in the “War Gamer’s Society”, a society not a club – club’s do insufficient damage. Unbeknownst to me I would here meet a number of future hooligan associates include, Wolf, Knaus, Schultz, Burns, and JP. I am not good with names-to-faces; it takes me a few meetings to match them up, so much to their future anger I thought Mooney, Wolf, and some guy named “Booger” were the same person. In my defense, on each of my visits only one of this trio would appear each time. There is nothing else memorable about this first meeting with Wolf, mostly due to not knowing who he really was, and since I had just been introduced to so many of Louis’s school comrades I selectively choose to ignore some. As there was nothing particular of note with Wolf I found no problem in placing him on the “ignore” list.

The next era was when I sophomore year when I moved into Goodyear. These dorms were setup to have two doubles with a shared bathroom. Wolf/Knaus in the nicer (carpeted, TV) room and JP/myself in the other. This is where my relationship with Wolf really began and grew with many stories that have already been described. Perhaps the most ritual interaction, besides the Thursday night drive with Knaus to stock up on GAB, was Saturday mornings. Wolf worked at Collector’s Inn, while I did nothing. He would arise early and want to bum use of my SUNY Cash Card to get cheese covered=waffle fries from the glorious Spot in the basement of Goodyear. I can’t say as I blame him as this was food for a god. Many visitors came just for this delicate masterpiece. The Saturday conversation unfolded like this:

(in a Knaus like funk, as I was sleeping) “What!”
“You going to Spot?”
*loud sigh* “Yeah”

I would inevitably arise and would quickly turn gleeful as we approached the beloved waffle fries. To his credit, Wolf knew this would be the case, hence his lack of restraint when awaking me, though he always did it from the other side of a closed door.

Our third act of the Wolf/Thies combo was Comstock. Here there is not much to say as most of this blog is centered around the many hijinks this commode-like habitat festered.

Our relationship blossomed mostly around the common enemy of Thirty Puddles (named so for his bed wetting, not his spilling of drinks). It was during this era I enjoyed

letting the cat horde assault Wolf’s beloved xmas tree, and learned of his Bills outlook. He was not interested in football, except Miami, except the Bills games. If the Bills won it was the greatest game ever, and if they lost, it was the worst game ever. Consequently each week born a new watershed. After two years of success, it was only logical to continue our roommate-ship. Which leads up to Princeton.

The first year was good, some of the stories have been told, but as the second year grew on our activities together grew to a minimum, other than whatever we could do to aggravate the other guy into going to bed so we could watch the TV. Wolf sat in the dark to “create a movie theater” atmosphere, and used his infernal breadmaker, whose crumb avalanche lead to the cockroach squashing incident foretold. I’m sure more tales can be posted about this time that I care to recant presently.

Our final act as roommates was to divide up “the tapes”. Since the time we entered Princeton we advanced our technology to include a VCR. We frantically began to record episode after episode of “Seinfeld” and “The Simpsons”. We had 10-12 volumes of each. Not only was the content of the volumes timeless hilarity, but the increasingly poor quality was a reminder of simpler times that were starting to erode away. Many nights have one or both of us fell asleep on the couch (often in a drunken stupor) with one of these modern art-worthy recordings playing all night – continuing to erode the tape without anyone to enjoy the antics archived upon.

We are now in the final chapter of the Wolf/Thies saga. After Wolf had entered the Air Force. It was only after we had stepped away from each other for some time, and had to deal with “real” jobs on our own that we both admitted that we had enjoyed that last year as roommates, instead of trying to annoy the other. Wolf offered up a final Comstock-ish proposal. Upon leaving the Air Force we began playing basketball with Chris, Chet, and myself on a weekly basis. He proclaimed his embarkment on a new journey, each step to be progressed to after the successful completion of the previous step.

1. stop drinking (achieved for a time with non-alcoholic beer)
2. lose weight (basketball helped a little, with #1 helping a lot)
3. stop smoking (he cut back for a period, but never quite got here)
4. regrow hair (untouched)

In summary, Wolf and I shared much laughter over the years, and provided the other with a minimal amount of aggravation. Even at the end of Princeton we were polite agitators.

From Booger to good friend Wolf served a purpose. Wouldn’t you like to have a Wolf too?

Boogie Nights

Larry has hosted a few parties I have attended. The house is filled with people, lots of goons and eye candy from Baily’s, strange new beings,and the usual suspects.

At one such party the usual suspects existed on the front lawn. At some point Larry took his 21 year old girlfriend, Larry was far her senior, to the nearby Tops to procure another keg. An hour and a half passed before they returned. To regurgitate the story, Larry was being helped by the Tops manager in acquiring the keg. Larry decided to roll the keg down the isle, breaking the tap, which was attached for some reason. Larry exercised his fast-talk abilities to entice the manager to give him another tap.

On Larry’s return from Top, he emphatically states to his barely legal, but hardly ethical woman, “I am an excellent driver.” then drives directly into a ditch.

Another party that had only myself and one other usual suspect in attendance. The rest of the house was filled with the aforementioned goons and eye-candy form Baily’s. The party was surprisingly uneventful for almost it’s extent. A dumb goon and smart goon got into a serious pushing match. These two, alone with the five other men in the house (excluding myself, Larry, and the remaining non-Baily’s goon) entered the small, dirt first floor bathroom. The three of us looked at each other, looked at the eye-candy (themselves looking at the CLOSED bathroom door), and finally laid rest our eyes upon the bathroom door. There were no screams from the bathroom. Nary a sound escaped the flimsy, dirty portal. An extended ten minutes later the goon squad existed the bathroom, all in good spirits. They all rebuffed any attempts to discover the bathroom proceedings. Larry did later throw them out when we discovered their earlier fisticuffs (that one is for you Wolf) had engraved an hefty scratch in his very expensive dining room chairs.

Many parties center around the keg, which is often the basement. Larry used this setup also, but he also placed his pool table in the basement. The usual suspects often congested around said table. An added bonus to easy access to refills and pool was the view of the people descending the stairs to refill their own cups (the standard red, plastic party cups). One night gave us witness to several people falling down the stairs, including a particular female repeatedly. Put a pin in this. Placed on the wall of the basement, adjacent to the dart board, was “The Artifact”. This was one of those giant, yarn circle things. When Larry previously owned a store on Elmwood the many transients for the half-way home on the corner (since demolished and replaced by a bakery and pottery store). They took more than they gave, bu occasionally they would offer to shovel his sidewalk (a mere two thrusts of the snow shovel and it was clear), or bring in some random item and attempt to sell it as some high-value treasure while wiping off the caked on mud. One of these transients once presented Larry with “The Artifact”. Now you can take the pin out. Picture a party in full swing; dart board and pool table in use. Here comes the previously mentioned female who manages to make it half way down the stairs (we have grown to identify her boots so we can pause to watch her tumble) before she slips, lands on her ass, slides down the staircase until she lands hard on the bare concrete floor, this triggers “The Artifact” to semi-spontaneously fall, roll down the wall, hit a chair like a ski ramp, and hit a guy in the arm just as he releases a dart, which goes off line and embeds in the dirty wall next to the ear of some fool. A side note to this party was it ended with about 40 people in the backyard scarfing down hot dogs.

These final party incidents center around women. Going back to Larry’s basement pool table at one such party; I am playing pool with someones girlfriend, who has no experience playing pool. Only due to my level of intoxication, and my familiarity with said friend and the girlfriend am I able to remark to her, upon noticing her high level of difficulty of deciding upon how to hold the cue, “Just hold it like a cock.” Problem solved.

The final incident starts out away from Larry’s party. I take my new girlfriend (of only a few weeks) to see a show recommended by Broome. We arrive and sit down to chat with Chris and Broome. Being a new female in my like, I have not yet divulged my proclivity for roleplaying. A short time into our conversation Chris says, “So Dan… combat?” Dan what not there, but Chris was failing miserably as he tried to subtly remark upon our current game of DnD. My date was perceptive enough to pick up on this. She turned sharply towards me and said, “What?” Chris and Broome immediately excused themselves. This story continues later as after the show we head over to Larry’s party. We head downstairs to find a circle of drunken fools I call friends. My lady soon asks them all questions about DnD. To my amazement no real damage was done until she asked if we dress up; to which Mike replied with, “Well of course there is always the crotchless Batman outfit.” As you can guess tremendous laughter erupted and my date bolted upstairs; as I headed after her to determine the level of her outrage, I head Dan remark, “Good luck with that one Aaron.” In closing, when I caught up to her she was not upset, but rather bent over laughing. A few weeks later we broke up; nothing to do with “combat”.

Factory School

This story happened when I was living at Princeton. This story has a semi-legendary status from those who took part, but most have not heard it. I hope I can do it justice. As you will discover by the story I am not the best source of truth, at least not for the later parts of the story.

I had been working my first full-time computer job were I met Chris. It was summer time (August?) and our company was having the annual “Factory School.” What the hell is this you ask? One a year our company brought in all the sales reps; mostly from across the US, but a few from Europe. The reps took classes on our products. Each of us was expected to run a class. I was the new guy (six months in), and had to run a class on our “black spec” software. This was used in applications such as determining how much burnt rice passed by on a conveyor belt. Classes ran Friday afternoon and all Saturday. Nothing much to speak of occurred here.

Friday night we were to attend a dinner with all the reps. After which we were expected to “show the reps a good time”. This meant taking them across the Canadian border to Mint’s strip club. Most locations the reps hailed form did not enjoy the liberal strip club laws that sports.

We used the hotel mini-bus to collect the reps and ourselves. Next we had to collect funds. Now our boss was a notorious tight-wad, but he had handed over his credit card to Chris for this occasion. Despite this we needed cash, i.e. singles. We pulled up to a convenient store and some of us piled out to assault the altar of money for funds, and then bullied the cashier into exchanging us for all the singles they had, no doubt putting a cramp in the flow for any future customers that night that had not exact change. We also bought a case of cans.

On the way us we taught our guests the Mint’s jingle, “Where by law you see it all! MIIIIIIIIIINTS!”. We also devoured the beer. Chris was driving and wisely ingested zero alcohol the entire night. I had a can on the way up. Just as we approached the border we realized empty cans strewn about the bus could hinder our entrance into Canada. Ray (co-worked) and myself exited the bus to precariously set the box of empties on an already overstocked trash can. Cautiously removing our hands from the Jenga-like setup we paused a second, which was all that was required to cause the whole mess to come tumbling down. Even though it was dark, no one was to be seen anywhere around, and we had done nothing wrong, the childhood instincts kicked in – “RUN!” We piled back into the bus with top speed and Chris slowly pulled away.

We for-warned the reps to keep quiet, and no smart talk when crossing. Chris also had the foresight to collect passports from the two non-US citizens. The border guard sported a well-practiced smile when we told him we were showing these out-of-towner’s a good time at Mint’s. We passed without event.

Upon entering Mint’s a perceptive waitress, Rita?, noticed the size of our group and quickly asked if we wanted to sit right on stage. “YES!” Our 15ish guys occupied the 2-3 tables on stage, which all performers had to pass by when entering/leaving the stage.

The night seemingly lasted all-night, go figure. Many incidents occurred in whatever order.

– A co-worked our age smoked cigars and yelled “nice pooper” to a dancer.
– I engulfed too many Black Zambuca hooter shooters to complement my many Brodor XXX beers.
– Many of us spent too much money in the VIP room behind the stage.

… and other things that Chris can fill in, being the only sober person in the group.

I felt fine he entire night, slightly buzzed at best, but when it came time to leave I stood up and put my suit jacket on. I suddenly had a hell of a time finding my arm. It had disappeared, and so I forgot about the other arm of the jacket, and took the first steps towards the exit. I had not noticed, but then entire rest of the group was already outside. I suddenly felt way gone as I exited the door to Mints.

While I was still struggling with my missing arm the group outside had encountered a parked limo with two girls standing out the run roof. The group whistled, etc. as you would expect of a crowd in such a condition. Suddenly some old hag appeared out the sun roof and threatened the group. They were not phased by her threats. “I’ll send the driver out there after you!” she cried, as the driver hunkered down, not wanted to face off against 15 drunk men. “There are 15 of us and 1 of him, we’ll roll him.” stated the Houston ref, one of the least sauced.

I do not recall, but Chris has described by exit from Mint’s at that point many times. I burst forth to interrupt the bubbling limo fight before it got started. I looked like a classic drunk from the movies. I had a suit on with one shirt tail tucked in and the other out. I stumbled along in a traditional fashion.

As we proceeded home a few things occurred.

– I started to get sick, and the crew in the back, sales reps included (some as old as 40, compared to my early 20’s), changed “PURGE, PURGE, PURGE!” When I finally did purge, on the highway, it sprayed down the length of the van and in my haze I heard the group scream, “AHHHH!”
– Chris yelled at me, “Don’t puke on my poster!” in reaction to my eminent puking out the window, in relation to the signed poster he got from the Mint’s headliner.
– My first attempt out the window hit the door in part.
– The back seat group cheered for me to puke on the cop we passed.
– We dropped off a co-worked that had a known prissy wife. As we dumped him on his front lawn someone yelled, “Roll in the grass Rich, she will never know!” Rich shushed us as the front-porch light turned on and we drove away.

When we arrived back to the University (UB) hotel the reps were staying at Chris entered and requested a hose. I was placed on the curb while some of the reps gleefully hosed my puke off the van. They lost track of me for a few minutes and I somehow stumbled off to my car and Chris bolted over to find me hanging out my door with the keys in the ignition. I made one attempt but had not the strength to start the car.

Chris drove me home and dumped me on my bed and told me he would be back to take me to Factory School the next morning. I hit the bed and seemingly minutes later Chris was pounding on my door. I was in the same spot he left. He woke me and left the room to watch TV. He returned 15 minutes later to find me in the same spot. I reported I had no other dress socks than the ones I wore that sported puke droplets.

Somehow I got myself together enough to get to work. The reps out with us the previous night were smiling as they saw me come in. Somehow I made it through the morning classes. My classes were short and I kept asking if anyone else was hot, while my throat continued to dry out. At lunch I was able to sneak outside to clean some left over puke off the van before the boss saw.

That night we had another dinner with the reps, and on thew way in I told Chris I was not going out that night, after all I was just about to full conscienceness. At dinner some of our co-workers and other reps expressed regret from missing the previous nights antics. In the end we went up to Mint’s again and even brought some our friends. Rita we there again and we sat on the stage again. A year later we made another trip to Mint’s and Rita remembered us.

It was a grand time that let to a few more trips to Mint’s, but the adventure of that first trip was never duplicated.

The Business Opportunities of Hurricane Floyd

Back it he days when Comstock and Princeton had passed came a time when Matt was living in an apartment with Laubenthal. It was an unbelievable as much like Dan we never thought Matt would exit his parent’s home.

Several parties and incidents of note occurred at this place. One was a hot summer day when a gaming session was in full swing. Matt sported his muscle shirt. Dan verbally poked and prodded Matt until he became enraged, only then pushing him over the edge by noting Matt’s visibly red skin, using his Irish Whisper, “Look! Matt’s got ‘roid rage!” Chris, having the unfortunate seat directly across from Matt received the full force of Matt’s anger. He kicked Chris out of the house it he end. Chris never gamed, or did much with Matt, for a long time. During this fit, Matt was asked why he was not yelling at Dan. Matt said he had known Dan a lot longer, so he would put up with more crap from him, but Chris was a relatively new acquaintance, so his minor comment (I can’t even remember him saying anything, just laughing at the ‘roid rage comment like the rest of us) was enough to draw Matt’s attention.

But this post is not about that. This is about the announcement Dan made one day that he and Pete (the goon’s goon) were moving down to Florida to sell discount Disney World tickets to tourists. It all seemed like a ticket scam, and not being able to explain it to anyone as a legitimate sounding business the official story became Dan and Pete were moving to Florida to scalp tickets.

At this same time Ian announced he was moving to Texas to live and work with Andrew. A trying ordeal to say the least. Andrew had a number of habits I observed when he lived with Rob, who was the only one to live alone with Andrew for any length of time. Andrew would spend a literal two hours in the bathroom preparing and then forget to brush him teeth. Women complained he took way too long. We often got drunk on fridge beer by the time he was fully prepared, or just trot across the street to J.P. Bullfeathers. To going out meant to Andrew a formal occasion.

Anyway, so Dan was leaving for Florida, and Ian was leaving for Texas. There was nothing left to do except the usual taking of bets (standard $1) on when they would be back. Dan was back in four days, due to the event of Hurricane Floyd. He never even made it to Florida. they turned around in the Carolinas, perhaps that is why he lives there today – forever eying the frontier he never conquered. Louis won that bet.

We had all bet Ian would last twice the time Dan did. He did much better. Ian lasted almost a year. I forget who won that bet.

Though years later, the final bet had to be how long until Matt either got married, died, or went to prison (for protesting some pop). Matt was engaged to Jessica at the time and since most people were scattered we bet via email. We cc’d Jessica on the bet and she replied by placing a bet and told us they had to renew their marriage license as it was about to expire.

There were other bets over the years that I am sure will be brought to light in forthcoming comments, but I will always remember the business opportunities of Hurricane Floyd.